Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wooden spool craft

I don't know about anyone else, but I have about a bajillion wooden spools just floating around my house, so I'm always on the lookout for a good craft using those things. A couple if days ago, my wish was granted. A blog I follow posted a craft on Facebook and of course I took note. 

I put my own spin on the craft, taking it a little farther than just havering a spool sitting around.  

First Levi and I painted the spools orange, let them dry and then I drew on faces with a black Sharpie. Finally, a coat of Modge Podge and this is the result:
I liked the way the spools looked stacked together on the twine. Levi wants a pumpkin necklace, so we may do that today. 

Another idea is to paint the wooden spools green and turn it into Frankenstein's monster, or really any  creepy thing you can think of!  

I love Halloween and fall crafts!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Elderberry Syrup for Strengthening Immunity

I found an elderberry bush on my  neighbor's land, and after securing permission (he had no idea what it was, actually cuts it down every year), the kids and I began picking.  At first I was thinking jelly, but didn't think I had enough berries for that, so then I did some browsing and came up with elderberry syrup.

Elderberry is known for its medicinal properties, both in the flower and the berry. Next year I will pick some flowers, but for this year, it's the berries.

The berries after rinsing.

Sorting--taking off stems, tossing yucky ones. Very tedious.

Finally in the pot! I used 2/3 cup for this.

My helper adding 3 cups of water. Now to simmer until reduced and then we'll strain out the berries add 1 cup of local raw honey once the liquid has cooled. The honey will make the syrup palatable and also add more good stuff.
Finished product! It will keep 3 months in the fridge. It tastes pretty good, I think. My kids complain, but it the syrup helps strengthen their immune system, then they'll just have to deal with it. It could be worse, like, cod liver oil, you know? I try to give the kids 1 teaspoon daily.   Some are more willing than others.